NewsAfricaTechnical failures and delays force the extension of the vote in Nigeria while the count begins

Technical failures and delays force the extension of the vote in Nigeria while the count begins

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the body that regulates the elections held this Saturday in Nigeria, has decided to extend the vote this Sunday at some polling stations in the country due to the various delays and technical problems observed on the day. electoral, at the same time that the counting of the ballots has begun in those schools where it was possible to vote without problem. The first official results began to be published this Sunday, but it will take about five days for the final count of an election in which, for the first time in history, three candidates, Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu and the revelation Peter Obi, have serious aspirations for victory.

The electoral day lived on Saturday in Nigeria, where more than 93 million citizens were called to vote, took place without hardly any major incidents, but it was peppered with delays, technical problems and irregularities that have caused some polling stations to reopen this Sunday to allow voters to exercise their right. Specifically, the polls reopened in certain locations in at least three states. Cross River, Bayelsa and Borno. The most important deficiencies were the failures of the machines that had to identify voters through facial or fingerprint recognition, introduced for the first time in these elections, and the lack of electoral material. In Goza (Borno), an armed group attacked the city and interrupted voting operations, causing five injuries.

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As polling stations closed their doors on Saturday, supporters of the three main candidates began uploading results from their own polling stations to social media. With the passing of the hours, the INEC has begun to publish the count of a handful of polling stations for an insignificant moment, a circumstance that has been raising the tension given the expectations created around these elections, in which not only are elected a new president, but also the members of the two legislative chambers. Several citizens published, also on social networks, videos and comments about violent incidents and intimidation at some polling stations, which, although they did not reach the level of previous elections, have caused concern among electoral observers.

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Peter Obi, 61, managed to achieve great popularity, especially among the youngest, with a speech of hope, his campaign slogan, and very combative against corruption and waste. The former governor of the small state of Anambra, the only Christian of the three big candidates (the other two are Muslims), led a vibrant electoral campaign that evidenced the pull of him even in the northern states, with a Muslim majority. The ethnic component is another factor to take into account. Obi is an Igbo from the Biafra region, a community that has never come to power and still suffers from a certain stigma due to Nigeria’s civil war in the late 1960s. However, he is not a outsider. In 2019, he ran for vice president for the PDP and in 2022 he tried to be the candidate of this party. When Abubakar was elected, he went to the Labor Party.

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The Nigerian electoral system establishes that for a candidate to be proclaimed the winner in the first round, he must obtain at least 25% of the votes in 24 of the 36 States of the country, plus Abuja, the federal capital. As there are three candidates with serious aspirations, as is the case, experts predict that there are many options for the elections to be decided, except by surprise, in a second round, which would take place 21 days after the announcement of the results. Bola Tinubu, the APC candidate, has experience as governor of the State of Lagos, one of the most populous and richest in the country, for eight years, as well as the structure of a party that has been in power for two legislatures. can. For his part, Atiku Abubakar, well known as the country’s vice president in the time of Olusegun Obasanjo, has the strength of his immense fortune and his image as a successful businessman.


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